Money vs. Morality

The reason why dog and cat meat trade has never been stopped completely is the enormous profit came from this barbaric industry. Especially in China, local government officials are evaluated by their superiors on GDP growth. However, not all of them are able to meet these growth targets, especially in remote and poor regions. As a result, many awkward money-making schemes have been ‘invented’, for example, cultural events designed in a way to boost the local economy with tourism.

The situation has happened in Yulin. Prior to the Yulin festival, it has never been a part of mainstream Chinese culture and has no famous historical figures or events to make use of. People then came up with a ‘dog meat and lychees’ tradition to attract tourists and investment. Yulin now is obviously much more famous than before, yet perhaps the local officials did not think about such a serious criticism come from not only other parts of China but also from animals lovers around the world.

For those restaurants or dog farm owners that were established long time ago, it is difficult for them to stop the business that they are making money from. Some understand the immorality and inhumanity of their business, yet shifting into another one is not as easy as we might think. The financial factor, hence, significantly affects the mutual effort of other activists, who trying to stop people making money from animals’ agony.

To tackle this issue, Humane Society International has a wise strategy for those farmers who want to be out of the business. The organisation identifies them and helps them transition a ‘non-animal’ industry. Until this year, Humane Society International has helped shut down three dog farms in South Korea. One farm now grows blueberries, another organic peppers. The latest farm to close had around 100 dogs. The farmer and his wife announced their decision to leave the industry at a press conference in Seoul. The farmer’s wife cradled a puppy for a photo and said she’s relieved to be out of the business.

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Probably activists only attempt to stop the dog meat trade by telling those traders, dog farm owners and restaurants to stop, yet have neither offered them a practical solution nor assist them transition effectively.

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